War in Ukraine: Russia contests claims that Ukraine has made ground along the front line
Russia’s defence ministry (MoD) has denied reports that Ukrainian forces have advanced in various places along the front lines and said the military situation was under control.
On Thursday evening Russian military bloggers reported a deteriorating situation for Russian forces around Bakhmut where a battle of attrition has been grinding on for months.
But the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says Ukrainian forces continued to conduct localised counterattacks around Bakhmut.
Geolocated footage shows that Ukraine pushed Russian forces from a section of the Bakhmut-Chasiv Yar highway in southwestern Bakhmut.
According to the ISW, the deployment of low-quality Russian forces on the flanks around Bakhmut indicates that the Russian MoD has largely abandoned the aim of encircling a significant number of Ukrainian forces there. This suggests that the danger of a Russian encirclement of significant Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut may have passed.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar confirmed that Ukrainian forces have been able to push Russian troops back approximately two kilometres around Bakhmut. Maliar also said Ukrainian forces had not lost a single position in the eastern city this week.
Watch the full report in the video player above.